Redmond is doing a grand job of juggling two of its operating systems together, with Windows 8 and Windows 7 both being positioned towards users and businesses that are planning to upgrade from older versions of the OS, particularly Windows XP.

And even though Windows 8 is taking up most (almost all) of the advertising spotlight, Windows 7 still remains a pretty fine choice of many users that want a more familiar working environment.

This is why technology analyst Jeff Kagan believes that Microsoft should keep both operating systems alive and allow customers the choice of going for a traditional desktop UI, or the more advanced Metro interface of its latest platform.

In a statement, Kagan explained:

“Can Microsoft save Windows 8? Let me be clear. Innovation is key. That’s the secret sauce. However it’s more than just innovation. It’s taking care of customers. And that’s where Microsoft is failing.

Microsoft needs to focus on keeping customers happy and innovating. Since Windows 8 is a total re-write, and since many customers prefer Windows 7, my recommendation is they keep both. Let the user choose the operating system they want. Don’t force a round customer into a square hole.”

Round customer into a square hole, interesting way to put it!

Microsoft, nevertheless, seems very keen to make Windows 8 the primary choice for its user base around the globe. The software titan would be hoping that the platform increases its market share exponentially soon after Windows 8.1 hits general availability.

What is your take on this? Would it be worthwhile to keep Windows 7 in the mix, at least for the foreseeable future, at least for business users, or should Microsoft solely focus on its latest offering, Windows 8? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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  • John

    They should make Windows 7.8.

  • 1stkorean

    Although I like Windows 8 and have since its inception, and has it installed on my laptop, however I still have Windows 7 Pro installed on all of my desktops. I also know Windows 7 (all versions) is the next Windows XP and Microsoft needs to accept that and plan for Windows 7.8 like John commented earlier.

    The Microsoft pie is a very large pie and there is room for Windows 7 & Windows 8 in the same pie pan!

    • WillyThePooh

      I have 2 win8, 5 win7 and one winxp in my house. As I use more and more often my win8 pcs, I may retire most of my win7 pcs in the near future. I have no need for win7 except to keep one in case some of my old hardware don’t have win8 drivers.

  • keyfob

    I haven’t had any problems with 8 at all, though I can see where some might. People don’t like change, in general, especially if its forced. I think if people gave it real shot, they’d find themselves acclimating quickly. Keeping both options for everyone is not realistic. They would need to develop and maintain separate plans and strategies, not just for nuts and bolts development, but advertising, marketing, software, UI design, etc, etc, all of which costs money. And as time goes by, the two platforms would continue developing in two different directions. Even for a behemoth like Microsoft, that’s going to be taxing on the wallet in the long run. Even if you could afford to do that, would you want to? Any business owner would tell you no. It’s far more cost-efficient and resource-effective to streamline wherever possible, whether you’re running operating systems, brands or otherwise. I’m surprised that this “analyst” didn’t analyze this further.

    • WillyThePooh

      Some analysts don’t use their brain to analyze. They post because their job requires them to keep posting.

  • keyfob

    I forgot to add that being said, however, I could see retaining 7 to convert it to business enterprise-only…but not without a long term (mid-term, rather…as opposed to short term) plan to fold it into 8, slowly introducing 8 components to the business model as opposed to slam-dunked all at once.

  • Jeremy Bell

    Kagan has no idea what he’s talking about. Windows 8 is not a “complete rewrite”. It does not REQUIRE touch. It DOES work perfectly will without touch. Unless you have an application or game that doesn’t work yet in windows 8, you literally have no reason why you would ever want to buy a new PC with windows 7 on it. Windows 8 is faster, more secure, and gives you access to windows 8 apps and games that you can’t get on windows 7, including by the way desktop games that will require the latest directx, which doesn’t run on windows 7. Telling someone to “just get a windows 7 pc” because they don’t have touch is doing that person a big disservice.

    It’s just a start screen. Take five minutes to get used to it and then get on with your life.

    • keyfob

      That’s a great bit, that last line. I couldn’t have said it better or more simply myself. There has indeed been a bit too much bellyaching about the effin’ start screen. What critics omit is that all I takes is pressing the Windows key and you’re back to you’re desktop, never mind all you have to do now is type the first two letters of what you’re looking for me it’ll come right up.

      And it is fast! I about fell right out of my chair the first time I powered my new PC up and it took all of 5 seconds to get to the login screen.

    • WillyThePooh

      Yes. Win8 is not that hard to get used to even with a non-touch screen one. My first win8 PC is a non-touch screen one and it took me only 10 minutes to figure out how to navigate in the new OS. Right now, when I use win7 pc, I feel boring.

  • donpupuson

    Its not just a start menu, for the average user it’s more difficult than that. I’m a tech and I hear the bitching from the customer, they all want the start menu back with the launch icons there. The floating menu its good for touchscreens. Why not give what people want?

    • Jeremy Bell

      I understand how people are used to the old start menu and don’t like change, and I sympathize. However in most cases the strong feelings people are having about it are unjustified – it’s more about not liking change than whether the new way is better. That is a very temporary feeling though. As people get used to the new thing, and Microsoft keeps making improvements (such as having the same background image as the desktop, having a visible start button on the desktop, and having the start screen go straight to the all apps mode).

      The start screen is just better than the start menu, period. People just aren’t paying attention. It works well on high resolution displays, the start menu is difficult to use on high DPI displays. It has live tiles, useful on both the desktop and tablet. It fits more shortcuts than the hand full you can pin on the start menu. The search feature is SIGNIFICANTLY faster than the start menu’s. It is simple to customize the start screen, to rearrange and group shortcuts however you want. I’ve never seen anybody even attempt to customize their start menu – it is in practice quite tricky to do without going to the start menu folder. And when you go to the all apps mode, you no longer have to play a mouse maze game and click 5 or six times on start menu folders, and scroll up and down (sometimes horizontally) to find what you were looking for. All the folders are laid out flat, letting you see the contents of multiple sub folders simultaneously.

      The start screen is far superior to the old start menu. In almost every way and regardless of whether you have touch. People may complain about it now, but a couple years from now they would complain if you made them go back to win7.